Sunday, September 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 09/18/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
We finished reading The Wild Robot this week! And we started listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's a little tricky to find books to read aloud to both boys and there are some books that I read with Peanut that I want Little Bean to read too. So Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a repeat for the 10yo and new for the 7yo. It's fun so far. I've been listening to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and I did read some of Solo. Oh! And Colby sent me an ARC of The Creativity Project and of course I started reading right away. It's fantastic!

I set a goal to get back to my Celebrate posts and thanks to Crystal for checking in on me, I did! That feels pretty great. 

Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'll be reading with the boys and listening to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I also plan to finish up Solo and read Caleb and Kit so I can review it. I'll also finish up The Creativity Project...because yay! Last week I struggled to find time to read so we'll see how this week goes!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Find Me: A Hide-And-Seek Book

Title: Find Me: A Hide-And-Seek Book
Author: Anders Arhoj 
Illustrator: Anders Arhoj 
Publisher: Chronicle Books 
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: This book has eyes—and an irresistible cover! Kids will delight in this innovative seek-and-find picture book that may be read from front to back and from back to front! Two adorable characters embark on an over-the-top game of hide-and-seek through eleven richly detailed scenes, including a lively neighborhood, a bustling shop, an offbeat office space, a festive concert, and more. Open the book from the front to search for one of the characters. Then, open the book from the back to search for the other. It's two hide-and-seek experiences in one book. As the characters move through each illustrated spread, their colors change, too, adding to the abundant fun.
What I Think: Ohmigosh, I adore this book! It's super unique in so many ways. It's a big book, bigger than most picture books and the cover has holes cut in it for the eyes because there are holes in the pages too. It's so fun! What I really love is that it's such a simple cover but so busy on the inside. I absolutely fell in love with the illustrations right away and we had fun searching for our little friend as we moved through the pages. I'm sure other kids are going to have a ton of fun.  
     I'm not really sure how this books works as a mentor text except for that it's super fun and any young artists out there might get some inspiration from the artwork or the seek-and-find fun!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 09/11/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I finished reading The Pants Project by Cat Clarke and Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. They were both so good! We read lots of The Wild Robot and are almost done. I've been listening to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as a mentor text for a maybe future book I'd like to write. I loved the series when it first came out so it's been super fun to reread it! I also am about halfway though Kwame Alexander's new Solo

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 

I plan to finish up Solo and The Wild Robot and to get back to Flying Lessons. I also have This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang to get started. 

I am also super committed to getting back to my Celebrate posts! I haven't been super consistent lately and I miss my Celebrate posts. On September 1st, I started a one-sentence journal like Gretchen Rubin talks about in The Happiness Project so I have things to celebrate AND this weekend I signed up to be a Younique presenter which I'm super excited about too! Lots to celebrate so I'm doing a mini-celebration today to get myself excited about getting back to my Celebrate posts. :)

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

Title: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow 
Author: Mary Weber 
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Sci-Fi/Novel
GoodReads Summary: Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.
     Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
     For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.
What I Think: The gamer in me really loved this book! But I especially loved that it was a book gamers and reality tv show lovers could relate to. It's such an interesting premise and world...and then Mary throws in a few twists so I just wanted to keep reading so much that I couldn't put it down. 
    As a mentor text, I love the world building but also how she shows us the characters. She layers in what they are doing, what they are thinking, and how they are feeling. It took me a lot of writing so start to pay attention to all the layers that go in to good writing. 
     I would especially pay attention to word choice and use this to show how word choice really makes a difference when it comes to descriptive writing and showing readers what is going on. This is a YA novel and I usually use the $100 word term to talk to younger writers but I think it would apply to teen writers as well. $100 words means we're using words that are more descriptive than $1 words. It's like going out for a super fancy steak dinner instead of the dollar menu at McDonald's. Which kind of writing would you want to devour? Right? It's a great metaphor and helpful as student writers think about which words they use in their description. 
Snatch of Text:  
"The floor beneath Sofi's feet shuddered, and a second later her stomach lurched as the entire level of gamer rooms began to descend. Waves rocked against the giant windows, slapping them with foam while they sank down, until all but the top three feet of glass was submerged beneath the oceanscape. She was staring into an enormous pool of water reaching higher than her head and deeper than she could swim. And so lucid she could almost see the other side." (p. 37)
Writing Prompt: Use descriptive writing to describe a fictional or real setting. Write about how Mary Weber's word choice helps you better understand the situation the character Sofi is in. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 09/03/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I had a great reading week! I'm loving finding time for audiobooks again! This week I listened to All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and I started The Testing by Joelle Carrbonneau. I finished reading The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and the boys and I are still reading The Wild Robot. I've also been reading Flying Lessons and I started The Pants Project by Cat Clarke and Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.

People ask me all the time how I keep track of so many books...it's kind of like having a ton of tv shows to keep up with. I read them all at different times in different formats and I don't find it hard to get back on track. Right now I'm listening to an audiobook, reading an ebook on my phone, and then reading the three hard copies...one is in my school bag, the other is by my bed, and the third is in the kids' room. Idk, it works for me! Can you manage more than a book or two at a time? I'm curious!

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'll be listening to The Testing and reading The Wild Robot, Flying LessonsThe Pants Project, and Wishtree! I'm hoping to also start Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel.

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hidden Dangers: Seek and Find 13 of the World's Deadliest Animals

Title: Hidden Dangers: Seek and Find 13 of the World's Deadliest Animals  
Author: Lola M. Schaefer 
Illustrator: Tymn Armstrong 
Publisher: Chronicle Books 
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: These 13 deadly creatures can be difficult to spot until you're right on top of them . . . or they're right on top of you. Look for each animal in its environment—look closely!—and learn all the ways you could perish—or survive—depending on how smart, well-informed, and good at running away you are. From the deathstalker scorpion and the poison dart frog to wasps, alligators, and many more, young readers will gain a new appreciation for the animal kingdom, and the dangers it hides in plain sight!
What I Think: I love a good non-fiction book! What makes this book stand out to me is the descriptive text and the lovely illustrations. The book is gorgeous visually but the description truly brings the illustrations to life.
     As a mentor text, I would point out how the text and artwork support each other. I would ask students to close their eyes the first read through, then look at the picture the second read through, and then finally invite them to write down or circle words that stand out to them. This is a great opportunity to look at word choice and specifically make a link to word choice in non-fiction text. There is a misconception that non-fiction writing is not creative writing it...but I disagree. Sure, the topic you are writing about has to sit squarely in facts but the word choice we use in non-fiction writing and the literary elements we employ can surely take on a creative nature. And honestly, the best non-fiction does exude imagery. So have students look at the text and notice what stands out to them, talk about those super specific words, and then invite them to try it themselves! 
     ***I especially love this snatch of text because there are TWO examples of alliteration! Love it!
Snatch of Text:  
"Don't crowd a shark. A GREAT HAMMERHEAD, like some other sharks, will defend its territory if threatened. WITH ITS TEETH. If one of these 500- to 1,000-pound (227- to 454-kilogram) creatures confuses you with an enemy or a tasty fish, swim...and swim fast! The hammerhead will strike with his head and bludgeon you again and again until you are weak and weary. Then it will open its powerful jaws and shred you with its serrated teeth. YOU WILL BE DEAD."
Writing Prompt: Write about a ferocious animal that interests you. Or maybe you'd prefer to write about a completely non-ferocious animal! But as you write, pay attention to your word choice and see if you can work some $100 words in there.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/28/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I finished up I Will Always Write Back and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. I started reading The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya and am reading The Wild Robot with the boys. I'm also listening to Jennifer Niven's All The Bright Places. 

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I plan to keep reading The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and The Wild Robot and listening to All The Bright Places. I have so many other great books from the library so hopefully I get to some of them this week too!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/21/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I read more The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (I'm almost done! It's so good!) and listened to I Will Always Write Back. I also did a lot of reading because I'm s secret mentor for Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars. It's an amazing contest for writers who have revised their manuscript and are hoping to be mentored as they get ready to query. I was in Pitch Wars as a mentee in 2014 and now I get to be a mentor. I've spent time reading queries and manuscripts as we get ready to submit our final picks this week. 

Oh, and I started reading aloud Peter Brown's The Wild Robot with the boys!

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
It's going to take me a while to get through the audio for I Will Always Write Back but I'm almost done with The Evaporation of Sofi Snow and then I'm excited to read The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya.

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Things That Surprise You




Thank you to Blue Slip Media
for sending me a copy of this book to review 
and for providing an awesome prize pack
for me to giveaway! (Details below!)


Title: Things That Surprise You 
Author: Jennifer Maschari  
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Publication Date: August 22, 2017 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel 
GoodReads Summary: Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She’s sort of excited… though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice.

But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents’ divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again.

Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She want to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really?

Things That Surprise You is a beautifully layered novel about navigating the often shifting bonds of family and friendship, and learning how to put the pieces back together when things fall apart. 

What I Think: I've been excited to tell students all about Things That Surprise You because it is such a real book about having friends, keeping friends, and making friends that I imagine many middle schoolers will relate to. It's a book I would recommend to readers who like Rebecca Stead's Good Bye Stranger and Ann Brashares' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 
     As a mentor text, I love how Jennifer takes a moment and describes it so that we can feel what the characters are feeling. I pulled out two snatches of text that include similes that I love. They demonstrate how we have to be intentional about the similes we include. The imagery she creates with this similes definitely match the mood of the character and the scene.
     I also like how Emily, the main character, has her own character arc but her sister Mina has one as well. Too often writers focus on the main character and how he or she changes but we also have to look at how our supporting characters change and how our main characters might even impact the change our supporting characters go through. It's real life, right? But being able to do it in our writing as well is important and Things That Surprise You is a perfect mentor text for looking at how the main character isn't the only one who is going to grow as the story progresses.
Snatch of Text: 
"Walking in here is like stepping into a pair of the fuzziest socks. It feels cozy and right." (p. 11)

"All the good feelings I had built up whoosh out of me like air from a flattened bike tire." (p. 97)
Writing Prompt: Write about what you look for in a good friend. Use examples from Things That Surprise You and Emily's experiences with friends in the book and connect to your own experiences as well. 

One lucky winner will receive a copy of THINGS THAT SURPRISE YOU (U.S. addresses).

PLUS!
One grand prize winner will receive a Crafty Unicorn Kit!  The prize includes a fun craft kit, a copy of THINGS THAT SURPRISE YOU, unicorn stickers, and puzzle cards! 
Enter here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/14/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I really really enjoyed reading Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari last week. I'll be review it this week. I started listening to I Will Always Write Back and was reading The Evaporation of Sofi Snow when we made one last visit to the pool this weekend! My kids officially go back to school this week! Here we go!!!

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'll be reading The Evaporation of Sofi Snow and listening to I Will Always Write Back...and trying to make it through an entire week of school with my 2nd and 5th graders!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!